Well, we’ve been home for a week, and we’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to manage these two little ones at night. One night they took turns feeding, like a never-ending round robin, and that for sure is not sustainable. Everyone told us, “feed them at the same time! Wake the other up! Keep them on the same schedule!” and now we know why! Last night they decided to have a party at 2am, for two hours. But at least they had the same party at the same time.
The weekend was long. We are a family that normally goes and does stuff every day, so to just stay home in the hamster wheel of feeding and changing was absolutely exhausting. I’m not saying I’m excited to go back to work (um, no), but I am looking forward to the twins getting a little bigger so we can go out and about again.
The grueling schedule and constant work are finally taking their toll on M. On me. Maybe on everyone. The babies cry, the babies fuss, the babies are only happy milk drunk at the breast. The big kids feel shut out and left out. We are tired; the shininess of something new has faded into something else… parenthood. It’s a marathon, as they say, but newborns can be especially thankless in that way. Maybe they’ll just have to fit into our life, we once said casually, because of course, how else do you go from 2 kids to four? And then twin newborns laugh at your plans via scrunched up, red, and furious faces. Fists balled, legs kicking in spasms… no, we are not going along with any of this. We are doing what we are doing, and you will come to us on your knees!
Today I thought, oh gosh, I’m not going to make it through. Through this hour, this day, this week. I go into the bedroom and lie down, trying to claim my body as my own, until a baby is plopped down into the crook of my arm. I can’t help it, tears are making their way out. My daughter is raging outside, frantic in her dysregulation. It leaves me with a hysterical feeling, like the household is this monster come to life, coming after me. My wife notices and somehow scoops up babies, children, everything, and closes the door. Outside all is turmoil, but she’s left me with a couple precious hours to have my own body. When I wake up I do feel a little better.
The babies look at us suspiciously, either that or with wide-eyed surprise. How did this all come to be?? And I think, gosh boys, I’m just doing the best I can. I brought you here and now I’m scrambling to stay upright. I say outloud to my girl, honey I’m sorry. This is hard, isn’t it? It’s just hard. But please, just be quiet. Just stop being so damn upset.
Every night I look forward to morning coffee. I look forward to picking up my girl from field trip “school”, even though she hates transitions and I have to demand that she leave the van and come with me at pick up time. Still, I look forward to seeing her again after only four and a half hours of separation. Being together is sometimes so difficult, but being apart is unbearable. As much as I am the stabilizing force in her life, she is that in mine. We keep each other in orbit, and when one is beginning to spin out, the other reciprocates. We then pong off each other into the ether. But I can’t do any of this with out her.